What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a strategy that aims to bring customers to your business. It is a contrast to the more traditional method of outbound marketing which requires you to actively go out and seek new customers.
A good inbound marketing strategy will make your brand or product highly visible. As it is considerably cheaper than the more traditional advertising routes, a large marketing budget is not necessary.
Web pages, blogs and social media can all make up part of an inbound marketing strategy. The most important thing is that you share compelling content aimed at your customers’ needs and interests.
A successful inbound marketing strategy operates as a two-way street. Your business needs to put effort into getting to know your customers and their likes, needs and interests. In return, customers can use your content (such as blogs or videos) to learn something new or develop a particular skill. This should encourage them to seek out further information, services or products, leading them to give you business.
Once your customers are interacting with your business or making purchases, you can provide them with further content that will interest them. This will help generate future sales.
The expectations of inbound marketing
With a good inbound marketing strategy, your business, services and products should be attracting the attention of potential customers and earning their loyalty. You should expect to be converting visits into sales. It should allow smaller businesses to compete alongside larger, more recognisable brands.
Regularly updating your website and publishing content such as blog posts or YouTube videos are ways to maintain almost real-time contact with your customers. Make sure your content invites and encourages visitors to like your Facebook page or respond to your Twitter feeds.
Inbound marketing, therefore, carries the expectation that large amounts of customers will be generated through visits to online content. This is all without the expense or time required for more traditional forms of marketing and advertising. There are, however, some realities of inbound marketing to consider.
The realities of Inbound Marketing
Constant analysis of your inbound marketing content and strategy is necessary for you to achieve maximum success from it. Regular time will need to be allocated to keeping webpages, blogs and YouTube posts fresh and relevant so that they are of interest to your returning visitors and potential customers.
This can be an overload on your already busy marketing department, but it’s not always enough work to justify creating another paid role within your business. This can be overcome by outsourcing some of the work involved, such as the writing of blog posts.
As a new business, or a business new to inbound marketing, do not expect immediate results; success does not happen overnight. A business may need between six and twelve months for its online presence to become embedded, recognised and visited regularly. Once it does, you might find that you need a bigger sales force to cope with the demand. This will, of course, need to be budgeted for.
Finally, once your inbound marketing is generating visitors, you must ensure that you meet expectations by providing the products and services offered. This will help you build relationships with your customers and create positivity around your online presence.
Contact us today and get professional advice on how to make the most of your inbound marketing efforts.